PepsiCo is trialling paper-based outer packaging for two flavours of its Walkers Baked six-pack multipacks in a move that is aimed at replacing plastic and facilitating higher recycling rates. 

The trial packs are currently available for Sea Salt and Cheese and Onion flavoured crisps in over 300,000 six-pack Walkers Baked multipacks sold at 800 Tesco locations. Consumers are being invited to provide feedback on their design and functionality, and can, the company says, recycle the paper packs at end of life.  

It is expected that the trial will contribute towards PepsiCo’s commitment to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastics from its European crisp and snack packaging by 2030 as part of its pep+ global health and sustainability transformation plan. This includes the implementation of 100% recycled or renewable plastic into its crisp packets, as the company announced last year.  

“With this latest trial, people can buy a selection of Walkers Baked multipacks in paper-based outer packaging that can be easily and widely recycled with regular recycling at home,” says Rachael Smith, Walkers’ senior marketing manager. “Feedback is so important in helping us deliver the best possible experience for consumers, and we can’t wait to hear people’s thoughts when the packs land in stores.” 

“We’re always exploring new packaging solutions that can help us reduce virgin fossil plastic use, in pursuit of our broader sustainable packaging goals,” adds Gareth Callan, packaging sustainability lead at PepsiCo UK & Ireland. “After more than two years in development, we’re looking forward to testing this paper-based outer material with our consumers to better assess the role it could play in our future packaging portfolio.” 

Prior to this trial, PepsiCo worked with Smurfit Kappa to implement cardboard outer packaging for Walkers’ 22 and 24 multipacks in a bid to cut an annual 250 tonnes of plastic from its supply chain.  

KP Snacks has also sought to achieve a 25% reduction in flexible plastic packaging for its premium crisps brand Tyrrells and cut down on 113 tonnes of plastic every year.